This month, Longreads is celebrating its fifth anniversary. I started this service in April 2009, and it has grown into an incredible global community of readers, writers and publishers. Together, we helped create a thriving ecosystem for longform storytelling and helped reverse the myth that the Internet has shortened attention spans or diminished our appetite for reading.
I’m more convinced than ever that the reverse is true: There is an enormous global community of readers, and a growing number of publishers committed to quality—all while mobile devices have made it easier than ever for people to read anywhere, anytime.
Our team has always been small—Longreads is Mike Dang, Kjell Reigstad, Hakan Bakkalbasi, Julia Wick, Joyce King Thomas and me—and we’ve known that, to make good on our original vision, we’d need more help, from the community and from like-minded partners.
Today, we’re excited to announce a new chapter for Longreads:
We are thrilled to be joining the Automattic family. Automattic, as many of you know, is the company behind WordPress.com—the largest and most influential publishing ecosystem in the world, founded by Matt Mullenweg.
I first met Matt four years ago, and we have always had a deep respect for him and the principles of his company. We also quickly realized that Longreads’ goals and Automattic’s goals were complementary: For us it is to serve readers the best storytelling in the world, and for Automattic it’s to power a world where publishers and writers have the freedom and independence to own and control their own space on the Internet, and to then produce their best work using those tools.
We see a huge opportunity to go deeper with our mission, both through Longreads and WordPress.com—to find undiscovered talent, to celebrate the work of writers and publishers you already love, and bring even more of the best storytelling onto the Internet. The WordPress.com editorial team is growing, and we’re excited to now be a part of it.
To this community: We will continue running this service the same way we always have.
To our Longreads Members, you helped us keep this service thriving for five years. For that we are truly grateful. We intend to keep the Longreads Membership active: If you are a Longreads Member, your generous contributions will continue to go toward our editorial budget, to ensure we can bring more stories to this community.
We can’t wait for what’s next, and we’re excited to keep serving readers everywhere.